The concept of “winners” and “losers” in an NBA draft isn’t necessarily a flawed one, but naming those winners and losers within 24 hours of the draft’s completion is probably misguided. Three years ago, for example, how many fans or even draft experts would have called the Raptors a winner of the 2016 NBA draft for nabbing little-known forward Pascal Siakam with the 27th overall pick?
Still, the “winner” and “loser” tags are simple short-hand for assessing which teams’ drafts we like, at first glance, and which ones we don’t. With that in mind, we want to hear your thoughts on which teams you believe have a good night on Thursday and which ones you believe could have done better.
The Cavaliers are among the teams that received plenty of praise for their work on Thursday — they came out of the first round with three promising young rookies, having selected Darius Garland at No. 5, Dylan Windler at No. 26, and Kevin Porter Jr. at No. 30. Garland was long viewed as the probable fourth overall pick, and Porter was considered a candidate for the end of the lottery, so Cleveland got seemingly great value in the first round.
[RELATED: 2019 NBA Draft Results]
The Pelicans are among the other teams whose work was lauded, though it’s hard not to get high marks when you come away with Zion Williamson. Besides the No. 1 overall pick, New Orleans also came away with Jaxson Hayes at No. 8, Nickeil Alexander-Walker at No. 17, and Marcos Louzada Silva at No. 35. They also managed to shed Solomon Hill‘s contract in their trade with the Hawks.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Suns‘ moves generated some confusion. They had to give up the No. 32 pick to move T.J. Warren, whose three-year, $35MM contract didn’t look like an albatross. Then they traded down from No. 6 to acquire Dario Saric and used their newly-acquired No. 11 pick to select Cameron Johnson, a player most experts didn’t expect to go in the top 20.
What do you think? Which teams’ drafts did you like most, and which ones were you a little less bullish on? Head to the comment section below to weigh in!